Home > Communications > Independent View

Small Things Done With Extraordinary Attention

Author: Joe Calloway

The Independent View

Joe Calloway

Small Things Done With Extraordinary Attention  

 November 7, 2012 


It's easy to think that becoming a "Category of One" organization means that we should focus on superstar performance or making grand gestures of service. But the reality is that we win the loyalty of those we serve with the seemingly small, yet incredibly powerful things that we can do every day, in almost any situation.

I recently visited a family member who was a patient in a local hospital. Walking down the hall I was approached by two hospital employees, one of whom stopped to ask me if I needed directions or needed any help in finding my way. It was a small thing, but it made an impression and spoke volumes in terms of demonstrating that the hospital truly cared about its patients and their families.

Like virtually everything else that we do in our work, it's a matter of culture. Does your organization have a culture of following policy—no more and no less? Or, like the IGA Promise says, do you have a culture of truly helping and caring for customers in every aspect of their experience with you?

In working with a restaurant on a customer focus initiative, I remember that an assistant manager raised the question of how customers can believe that the restaurant is devoted to service when it's next to impossible to figure out where to find a parking space. It's so easy to think that our core product or service is all that really matters, when in fact it's the total experience that we create that ultimately leaves a lasting impression, from the time they pull into the parking lot until they leave the store, and every touch point in between.

Doing small things with extraordinary attention shows you care, and it can be achieved by any organization. The important thing to keep in mind is that it doesn't happen because of a memo, signs in the break room, or even an occasional mention at employee meetings. It happens when you think about it, talk about it, and model it all day long, every day.


Joe Calloway